Type 2 Diabetes – What Is Stress And Does Relaxation Benefit Diabetes? – Stress, we’ve all experienced it, but did you know stress can actually be unhealthy and dangerous, especially if you have Type 2 diabetes. Stress is one of the biggest killers today, manifesting itself into a wide range of medical conditions.
What is Stress? It is a reaction to a perceived threat… the reaction can be both physical and emotional and can also be very intense, irrespective of whether the threat is real or imagined. The response to this threat is known as the “fight or flight” response.
Stress can affect your blood sugar level directly and indirectly. A change in your blood sugar level usually occurs immediately when the fight or flight response is triggered. A perceived threat actually activates the release of your stress hormones… in turn this tends to raise your blood sugar levels even if you have not eaten any food
Does Stress Affect Your Blood Sugar Level?
1. Before you check your blood sugar level, stop and look at your stress level. Evaluate your level on a scale of 1 to 10.
2. When you check your blood sugar level, write it down next to your stress level score.
3. Keep track of these numbers for a week or so.
Did you find your blood sugar levels were higher when your stress levels were also higher? Alternatively, were your blood sugars lower when your stress levels were low? A “yes” answer to either question, shows there is a definite relationship between your blood sugar level and your stress level.
Stress Management: The best way to beat stress and significantly lower its negative impact on your life is to learn how to effectively deal with it. Knowing how to relax can help to keep down some of the complications associated with Type 2 diabetes.
One of the best things you can do to relax is to exercise. This might sound counter-productive since exercise speeds up the heart, but the benefits are derived from the long-term application of exercising.
When you exercise you are burning off dangerous excess fat which can not only affect blood pressure, but fat can also make its way around to your midsection which dramatically affects your health. When fat forms around the abdominal area, it crowds your organs. The fat you see on the outside of the body is only half of the problem: the same amount is on the inside also.
Exercise also burns carbs, which is good news for diabetics who want to lower their risk of hyperglycemia… generally exercise is an effective way to immediately lower your blood sugar levels. And exercise improves blood circulation, another common problem associated with diabetes.
Also, the value of exercising goes way beyond the physical benefits… working out reduces emotional tension and stress.
Many people find meditation helpful for relieving stress and the discomforts of diabetes. As little as 20 minutes once or twice a day can:
reduce and prevent stress,
enhance your health,
release physical tension,
reduce physical pain,
lower blood pressure,
lower your heart rate, and
help to facilitate sleep.
A form of meditation that also incorporates breathing and mild exercise is Tai Chi. This ancient form of marital arts is often overlooked for its health potential since it is such an easy-going series of movements. It doesn’t appear to offer any exertion at all. But those who routinely take these classes will emphatically tell you differently.
Along the same lines as Tai Chi is yoga, although the flowing movements are very misleading in appearance. As your expertise increases, so does the level of difficulty. Even a novice can gain tremendous benefit from yoga. It is also a great activity to perform at night to ensure good sleep.
The relation produced by meditating is a powerful tool for controlling stress. The end result is to bring down stress levels and relax your body so anything you enjoy doing can accomplish that.
The key is to take pleasure in whatever it is you choose, whether it be reading or aerobics. And eliminating stress in Type 2 diabetes goes a long way in reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. It also helps the diabetic to better manage their condition.